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Think back to your last significant hire. From the time the hired candidate applied, how long did it take you to make an offer? If it was more than 10 days, your risk increased greatly that the candidate would receive and accept an offer from another company before you had a chance at bat.

In the past year, we have worked with several companies that lost their top candidate due to long decision making processes. Some of these companies were taking 4-6 weeks, or longer, to make a hiring decision after the first office interview. Reasons for the delays vary. Here are four common culprits:

1. Long interview processes with more evaluation steps and interviews
2. Coordinating multiple manager schedules for team interviews
3. Vacation or business travel pushing the timeline further down the road
4. Indecision caused by hoping a “Perfect 10” candidate surfaces

Statistics reveal that the average hiring process has increased significantly in recent years. According to CEB (Corporate Executive Board), the average hiring process now takes up to 68 days (just over 2 months) up from 26 days in 2010. To break it down further, the average interview porcess is 23 days, up from 13 days just four years ago according to Glassdoor Economic Research.

Peter Cappelli, author of “Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs,” describes why companies struggle to fill positions quickly (or at all) by labeling it the “Unicorn.” A Unicorn is a candidate that is nearly impossible to snag due to the long laundry list of requirements they must possess. Basically, hiring managers are often unrealistic in their expectations. Add this to all the other reasons why the hiring process has been extended and it is easy to understand why companies are losing top candidates.

For your next hire, forget the Unicorn and look for ways to expedite your hiring process so that you can snag a top 10% candidate!

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